Applied Critical Theory

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Critical Theory is a different way of looking at the scarcity mindset - the underlying theme that OSE is negotiating for a solution. Both transhumanists and odd moustached men also negotiate scarcity thinking - the former for a technical solution but not a technological (societal) one, and the latter by genocide.

Here we apply Critical Theory to details of various productive segments of civilization, starting with construction.

Based on Critical Theory, A comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom prevails in advanced industrial civilization, a token of technical progress. - Marcuse. Further- The social reality in advanced industrial societies is that very sophisticated systems of domination are in place and they are capable of transforming themselves to meet the challenge of any movement for liberation. Ie, in a world of absolute abundance, the myth of scarcity prevails. Here we make observations, towards eradicating such artificial scarcity. The point is to be taken: the mechanisms for scarcity are subtle. Scarcity = unfreedom. Here we explore some of these subtleties.


Unless one acquires something akin to the OSE Abundance Curriculum to become an integrated human who can think critically, solve problems, have empathy, and function as a steward of natural resources - fueled by abundance numeracy and unlimited motivation by virtue of personal transformation - one is merely continuing the current system and not contributing directly to its transformation.

The call for integrated education is therefore strong. In OSE's program, the first four years are dedicated to becoming a whole person, while learning construction management - with the metaphor that if you can build a complete house, you can also build a complete version of yourself.

OSE's mental model is that personhood, character, moral philosophy, growth mindset, peak performance, cultivation of empathy, negotiation, generosity - are not learned in any converted effort outside of the rare individuals who are lucky to have solid guidance in these areas by the virtue of their life situation. For many this is difficult due to abject poverty, either physical, of the mind, or of the spirit.

OSE takes it upon itself to provide a 50/50 focus on work/personal growth a nd transformation as the core of its program. It is a deeply personal journey - where you will make lifelong friendships with the people around you because they are on a lifelong journey of infinite growth of awareness, possibility, capacity, and opportunity.

We simply say - in 4 years we create people who are fully capable of taking on pressing world issues, by being presented with a scope of possibilities and inner/outer skills that allow for effective and antifragilr negotiation of issues that are generally considered unsolvable.

With that said, our grads move on to the next 4 years of mastery learning to break ground on a new OSE Campus, upon their graduation. The new campus could be anywhere from a 40 acre up to much larger facility, combining action enterprise creation for the open sector, breeding the next generation of problemsolvers. While at the same time, collaboràting with the local community through it's open sector enterprises and other programs.

Whatever happens after the 4 years of person integration, we want to say it was worth our time, to bring up people who we would be proud of being our own children.

Skill Set and Mindset

We ask simply what skill set and mindset is required. To summarize:

  1. the art of possibility - capacity for antifragilr sublimation aka neuroplastic sublimation aka unleashing your imagination based on capacity, for out of box un-herd of solutions. Aka antifragility via hardwiring happiness.
  2. abundance numeracy - understanding that it can be a win-win world for everybody
  3. applied physics - understanding all science and the natural world so that you understand first principle opportunities and limits
  4. learning how to learn- cognitively, physically, emotionally, mental models, and technology. Logic, memory, sublimation. Once mastered, the art of possibility emerges. Using learning augmentation tools. Separating essential knowledge from noise - what not to avoid getting sucked into
  5. understanding everything about everything so that you know that you know nothing -survey of all influencing mental models of civilization across all disciplines and sectors
  6. Applied design - how to design products, services, infrastructures, and institutions based on all known mental models of reality

This is captured in the OSE Abundance Curriculum.

Lifetime Design

Perhaps the single most important aspect of critical theory - the thing that takes away freedom - is lifetime design - or more precisely the lack of it modern society. Throwaway goods from China are the norm. Proprietary designs make service impossible. Open design and parts are not readily accessible. Cloned fruit plants and terminator seeds do not replicate naturally. Companies are not Built to Last. Design for obsolescence result in tons of cell phone junk. You buy a house, and 20 years later you need to do significant repair and continuous maintenance. Think about the car junkyard: a small part goes out on a mostly functional car, and it ends up at the junk yard as parts are generally not interchangeable. Just think about it: you buy something, then you have to buy it again 6 months later on Amazon. Or you buy a tractor, and have to buy a new one 10 years later. Think about how much waste that introduces: that means that you need to keep pumping the treadmill just to survive, instead of thriving in more built-to-last environments.

Imagine instead that products improve in time, as you can modify and upgrade their modular design. Or houses that last a minimum of 100 years without you having to do any maintenance prior to that period. Think Design Degeneracy. This is an obvious but critical aspect of modern civilization that drives cost up 10x at least, and we as humanity have not yet fixed it. There is a lot of interest in maintaining this situation from certain partisans, but this is not a collaborative relationship because in general it is a win-lose situation - not a win-win situation. This needs renegotiation on the societal scale.


Regulation is created when parties have fundamentally different interests, leading to win-lose situations. Such as, a car builder skimps on safety features so that regulation comes in to make up for the lack. This is built on non-collaboration, a non-convivial relationship. The solution is individuals evolving to reponsibility, as regulation is simply an post-facto attempt at responsibility. We would eliminate a middleman if we had responsibility, but that of course is 'impractical.' Yet it is practical in the OSE world, where we believe in creating an economy of affection where there are incentives for care and responsibiltity. How? Open Design Degeneracy is a good practical start.

Modernist Myth

That means that we already know everything because science told us so and therefore we really have nothing new to invent. This is typical of the attitude in society where we think that the way the world is is predetermined and already optimized because scientists and engineers invented it.

I had to unlearn this mess myself. As I started to develop technology like for example the brick press I was completely amazed that the first prototype or the second prototype we built produced 10 bricks per minute I was hoping for merely three to five. So I said wait a minute this technology thing is immensely powerful and the human populace knows very little about it. They think everything is already been invented. This couldn't be further from the truth.

That's why as soon as we unlearn this myth we can start innovating. Now a part of this transition is the willingness to consider fundamental solutions not following the herd and doing what everyone else is doing. A great example is the Seed Eco home where our model instead of 3.1x cost over materials for the build has 1.3 the cost of materials for the build. This is unheard of in the industry but you can look at our data to see it. Short of it is once we can shift our mindset we can unleash the possibility of innovation.

This does not mean that magically new results will start appearing. It will still require rigorous discipline but the point is that it is possible for anyone to learn this discipline. So that instead of suffering through decades of the corporate cubicle one can suffer through decades of true innovation. There is no free lunch.

But just think of the different result that these two approaches will produce. As a Chinese wise man once told me...

Competition in General

By insecurity and fear of survival, we compete, instead of creating better solutions. Thus the solution to competition is working on peoples' psychology of fear and survival, where we slowly update the human mind from fear or survival to the eagerness of thriving. This must be based on Fundamental Resource Abundance.

Large Scale Collaborative Design

In theory, one should be able to gather thousands designers - or even common people who can think - and have them collaborate seamlessly on an ambitious project. There are several issues that stand in the way of this. First, there is no common CAD platform - reducing collaboration by 5-10x out the gate by virtue of many of the number of CAD packages that exist. This is in principle resolved by open data format exports such as STEP, but in practice much metadata or workflow collaboration may be lost. Second, the extensible, open platform that does exist - FreeCAD - is not well documented. Third, there are very few Integrated Designers. This creates Collaborative Waste when numerous individuals not familiar with others' disciplines attempt to collaborate. Fourth, most people do not understand the concept of large scale collaboration, because they are used to close, proprietary workflows. Fifth, most people lack the disciplines developed largely in the field of open source software - repositories, modular breakdown, test-driven design, version control, documentation. Sixth, design is proprietary in general, so very little exists in the way of understanding the best-practice, modern technology. Seventh, cultural blocks exist against high performance, public-interest design of economic significance. Eighth, which is an aspect of proprietary design - there is little in the form of curriculum, rapid learning materials, or design guides for modern technology. Ninth, most people are innumerate and scientifically and technically illiterate, where in the extreme 1/3 of millenials appear to have the title of flat earthers [1]. OSE is addressing all these aspects on its way to normalize large-scale, public interest development and technical literacy.

Competition for Your Wallet and Education

Given that manufacturers have vested interest in their own products, this is a counterincentive to standardization, best practice. And education. Best practice - because each does not share their best practice. Sharing means sharing economically-siginficant information - stuff that works as the economic engine of society, not Instructables or this wiki lol. Standards - no, because if things are standard, this is an un-incentive towards 'competitive edge.' Education: when each company promotes their product, they are probably not promoting the cheaper solution, which obtains from deeper understanding and higher sophistication technically and personally. A better and more affordable solution is a more fundamental solution that relies on more understanding: one that comes from true understanding. And, true understanding means that you share and give away for free, as then you are a true master and your value comes from the respect you command. So in short, only inferior producers hold on to their secrets, they dumb you down by not producing essential information, and they keep a general low performance by lack of standards. Since education = mainstream economics, that means that your education is secrets that you don't learn, just like the industrial patents.

This means that school is harder than it should be. As you never get the juicy secrets that will make wealth and prosperity. Because everyone holds on to their secrets if they are any good.

Solution: open source tech and thus learning. Differentiation then becomes: how much you care for your customer.

Corollary: forget about solving education until the world starts to do open source design: integrated design, Integrated Enterprise, open source economy. Then education can start.

This may be worse than it sounds, because nobody is aware of this and behaves without addressing this issue at the core -and thus this issue hurts society.


  • Architects defend the agency of tradespeople by not producing detailed design documents, nor digital automated design-build protocols, which would incidentally eliminate both the architect and specialized tradesperson from the equation. The subtlety in this is that not producing detailed design (ie, supporting a disintegrated design-build process where people figure things out on the fly) drives labor costs up by a factor of - not only 2 or so - but 5 according to our build data. See Comparison of OSE Build Costs to Industry Standards and the data link in the Links section.


Patents and trade secrets are the ultimate enforcer of mediocrity: while one company profits, most others remain mediocre. Eradication of patents could create the Zero Marginal Cost Society even for physical goods.


There exists organized crime which involves a mechanism of violence for securing a livelihood. Russian kleptocrats, drug lords, military juntas, and mafias fall into this category. Very pernicious it is when such governance is written into the legal system, such as in Russia. Yet subtle hegemony of more sophisticated systems (like Marcuse talks about) - that are widely accepted as legal - has perhaps a much greater negative effect on society. Corruption is only a few percent of the global economy - 5% of global GDP according to the UN [2]. The part that is the status quo is the vast majority, constituting grand larceny of global proportion which goes on without anyone noticing.